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CarLuver69
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Post subject: There's another PSDL Doctor in town! Reply with quote

This is a re-post from MM2X. I don't feel like rewriting everything Razz

Post 1:

Alright, so while I may not be the best, I will try to explain.

For the longest time, MM2CT has plagued me with broken intersections and sidewalks. It's getting old, so I decided to enlighten myself as to what makes a PSDL work. I downloaded PSDL Viewer and watched Fred's story unravel about how his program works, and read up on tutorials on how to make a working PSDL city.

Long story short, the reason why MM2CT is constantly breaking my sidewalks is because of the order of vertices. I have learned from all of this reading that the vertices need to go in a counter-clockwise motion. All of my original vertices are there, however MM2CT is not able to calculate the correct order of vertices. I'm assuming it uses a distance algorithm that calculates which vertex comes next for the order of vertices.

This is a failed sidewalk due to MM2CT not being able to calculate which vertex to use next:



But after moving the index's order around, I was able to fix my sidewalk and achieve this effect:



To make MM2 styled sidewalks, the same vertex needs to be referenced multiple times. MM2CT is not capable of doing this, and therefore messes up the operation. I'm curious as to whether or not MM2CT alters the vertices of a sidewalk if it's not built to proper specifications, but I should probably look into that a bit later.

The purpose of this topic is to basically prove that not all cities built with MM2CT are broken if you experience this issue. I know that this has saved me lots of stress and prevented me from cursing out MM2CT Very Happy

UPDATE:

For crosswalks, apparently you need to fix their order too. It can cause the map to freeze...looking into it now.

UPDATE 2:

The crashes that are caused by going over a crosswalk with a broken sidewalk are perimeter errors. MM2CT assigns unnecessary vertices to a block, causing a crash. I understand how this works and now know what to do.

Post 2:

UPDATE:

I have literally been working for HOURS figuring out PSDL Viewer and teaching myself what to do. With my newfound knowledge, I have finally accomplished MM2 style sidewalks -



But considering how long it takes to make a perimeter for the entire intersection and how limited PSDL Viewer is, it seriously isn't worth the time and effort just for MM2 style sidewalks. However, if you want to convert a map and want to try and keep it looking original, then you need to do some stuff in PSDL Viewer.

Post 3:

*whistles*



This took me an incredibly long time to do. IMO, it's not worth going the whole nine yards.

Hope you enjoy the read!
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Post 20 Aug 2011 04:22 am
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HummeR
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Great stuff man. It would be awesome to have a working city with intersections like that.
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Post 20 Aug 2011 05:04 pm
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Midas
The PSDL Doctor

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Wow, this is exactly what I wanted to see!! I was very happy when I read this topic. It's great that you share your findings about MM2CT. These are the same things that I experienced while trying to make cities like MM2 default cities.

The problem with the sidewalks and MM2CT is that it can't create triangle fan sidewalks. Sidewalks are created using 'sidewalk strips' (the 0x08 attribute family). They are made using vertex pairs (they are not triangle fans). The trick to make them look like triangle fans is to repeat the pivot vertex everytime, as seen in this topic: PSDL Roads.

I was stuck in the limitations of MM2CT and decided to look at PSDL Viewer, which supports the entire PSDL format and werein you have full control of it (it's almost like working in a hex editor!). Currently I'm also working on a program called PSDL Editor. The purpose of it is to be a more user-friendly program which supports automatic intersection generation, roads and buildings and other useful tools. But it should also support raw PSDL editing. I want to continue working on it as soon as possible, but the problem is that it can't open big files like SF and London. So currently it is not worth to post about it here.

Take a look at Gold City. It has exactly the SF style sidewalks. I have spent hours calculating the coordinates and got better and better at it. Perimeters are easy to do if you have some experience with PSDL Viewer.



Other things that MM2CT fails at or can't do:

  • Divided roads
  • Facades, roofs and slivers (PSDL buildings)
  • Tunnels / railings
  • Prop rules (automaticly placed props on sideways like the ones in SF and London)
  • Triangle fans! The entire terrain is converted by making a separated 0x31 attribute for each triangle! WTF

  • MM2CT uses a maximum of 4 cross sections for road attributes. So if you have a road with a lot of sections it is split into road attributes of maximum 4 sections, instead of using one 0x00 attribute...



There are probably more things that I can't think of right now. I was going to make a big topic about all this in the future, but now that I saw this I couldn't stop writing about it...

I hope there are going to be more talks about this in the future. And I hope here on MM2C (not MM2X). I don't like to say this, but this is the place where all the excellent resources are from mainly fre_ber and Yallis!!

If you have questions about PSDL and PSDL Viewer, I would be pleased to answer them.

I really like your projects on MM2. Keep up the great work!
Post 20 Aug 2011 08:38 pm
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CarLuver69
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All hail the mighty Midas! I was hoping you'd see this thread, you and me seem to be the only ones who care about PSDL editing seriously anymore.

About the triangle fans, I noticed that. I guess Maxoff never fully optimized his program. But I do have to admit, it's very useful for importing 3DS/ASE files and converting them to PSDL files. One program I wanted to try out was PSDL Convertisseur, but I was told off on that and they were telling me MM2CT was the best way to do it...o_O

It would be my dream come true if Fre_Ber came back to MM2C and acknowledged us in our quest to make MM2 styled city. But I feel this is never going to happen Sad
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Post 20 Aug 2011 09:10 pm
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Midas
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CarLuver69 wrote:
One program I wanted to try out was PSDL Convertisseur, but I was told off on that and they were telling me MM2CT was the best way to do it...o_O

I have also been looking for this program, but I couldn't find a working download link anymore...

CarLuver69 wrote:
It would be my dream come true if Fre_Ber came back to MM2C

Yes!! Unfortunately I feel like fre_ber lost some of his interest in MM2... I have reached him via PM and Yallis is on IRC (#mm2 @ EFnet).

CarLuver69 wrote:
... and acknowledged us in our quest to make MM2 styled city. But I feel this is never going to happen Sad

Actually all the information is already here. Once you know a lot about PSDL, it's just looking at SF and London how the things are done and you can make MM2 styled cities. Smile
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Post 20 Aug 2011 10:57 pm
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HummeR
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Have you thought about improving MM2City Toolkit, Midas? I seem to remember Maxoff saying that he may give someone the code if they were able and wanting to improve it further a long time ago. I don't know if it would be possible to contact him anymore though. It would make things easier for other people and/or make it possible for them to make better cities. As it is, it's tricky to make a city without glitchy traffic.
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Post 21 Aug 2011 12:32 am
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CarLuver69
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Well see the thing is, it took me a very long time just to finish 5 of the intersections in my Chicago test. On top of that, I encountered CPVS problems with 3 of the blocks (2 of them are just a bunch of triangle fans, but one of them was an intersection I worked on).

But let me tell you, finding vertices and punching in numbers and stuff like that is so much fun. Really, it is. My accounting class involved a lot of number punching, so it was nothing new to me. I love PSDL Viewer, but it takes a long ass time to do everything! I feel ashamed that it is only 11 years after MM2's release that I finally know how to do all of this stuff...it's probably not even worth releasing big cities anymore, since everyone has migrated from MM2 to other, newer games. It's sad, but it's true.

What's Yallis' name on IRC?
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Post 21 Aug 2011 12:39 am
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Pabolo
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I recently started working on his project. It's called BAI Code and is intended for the program MM2 City ToolKit Mr. Green These are ordinary files:

london_bai.txt
sf_bai.txt

Generates itself them directly in the program MM2CT Smile

An application was written because, that can was modify existing standard city
Post 21 Aug 2011 11:10 am
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CarLuver69
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...I didn't understand a thing you just said. What does BAI have to do with any of this?
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Post 21 Aug 2011 12:03 pm
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HummeR
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MM2CT already has the function. Are you saying yours is better, Pabolo?
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Post 21 Aug 2011 04:40 pm
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Pabolo
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HummeR wrote:
MM2CT already has the function.(...)


Not necessarily. MM2 City ToolKit is not possible to edit the file BAI directly from the program. It has only preview. And files which making, are it standard city saved in TXT. Through ago, you can change the parameters for the roads in the scrapbook, which, later generate a file in MM2CT (TXT -> BAI) Wink
Post 21 Aug 2011 05:07 pm
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HummeR
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Oh. Hmm...I thought it did have that, in some form. Well, it's cool that you're adding it then.
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Post 21 Aug 2011 07:03 pm
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Midas
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Pabolo is right. But if I understand correctly he isn't adding this feature, just telling us about it. When you generate a BAI file using MM2CT it also generates a text version that you can edit in notepad (scrapbook?) which you can use to regenerate the BAI file. As far as I know this is currently the best way to edit BAI files. MM2CT has a 'BAI editor' however (Advanced->BAI Editor), but you can only view files with it, not actually edit. Neutral The only edits you can do from directly inside the program are changes to the number of lanes for traffic, trams and trains on a road, and vehicle rules.

HummeR wrote:
Have you thought about improving MM2City Toolkit, Midas? I seem to remember Maxoff saying that he may give someone the code if they were able and wanting to improve it further a long time ago.

I have thought about that, but I couldn't reach him...

CarLuver69 wrote:
What's Yallis' name on IRC?

dstien

Today I also started on a simple 3DS to PSDL converter for terrain that should generate more proper triangle fans. I am still looking for a good algorithm though (especially the perimeter generating is hard). 3DS files hold a list of all vertices and all objects. Each object holds all the faces (triangles) that it contains using references to the vertices list. And also groups which faces in the object use which material. So it looks something like this (this is the output of my program):

Code:
block [0000] plain:
        vertices:
                [0000] -100.688, 0, 70.1088
                [0001] 100.694, 0, 70.1088
                [0002] -100.688, 0, -101.468
                [0003] 100.694, 0, -101.468
        faces:
                [0000] 0 > 2 > 1
                [0001] 2 > 3 > 1
        materials:
                [0000] s_grass
                        [0000] 0000
                        [0001] 0001


If this looks confusing, I can try to explain it in more detail.
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Post 21 Aug 2011 08:45 pm
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CarLuver69
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I would love it if we had a 3DS to PSDL converter that actually works. How are MM2 style sidewalks going to work? o_O
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Post 21 Aug 2011 11:01 pm
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carking1996
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Wow. Amazing!
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